I have researched all of the archaeology and theories on the mound building people of south Florida. What I discovered will surprise you. The Great Circle, a 1400 foot wide, 6 feet deep ritual construction built in 800 B.C. ( far left in illustration on left) Predates the Aden, Hopewell and Mississippi mound builders by 1000 years. The unique belief system and social organization of Nort American mound builders originated in the south. First Poverty Point in Louisiana 1650 - 200 B.C. and south Florida around Lake Okeechobee 800 B.C.
Pictured right: Fisheating Creek, Glade County, FL location of the Fort Center Site where Woodland Indians gathered, buried their dead and formed meaningful alliances for 25 centuries.
The Calusa built entire islands from shells, engineered sophisticated canal systems, while producing sophisticated and naturalistic carving of the birds, mammals and reptiles that were their relations and with whom they shared their world.
Clarence B. Moore, early Florida ethnography early 1900s
Finally, the first comprehensive history of phosphate mining in Florida. With over 100 historic photographs, Florida's Gray Gold chronicles the places, people and technology that were the heart of the mining of Florida's Bone Valley, then and now. You will learn about the speculators, the miners and the people of Bone Valley who witnessed the mining boom into the 21st Century. as well as the growth of the Gulf ports. The book shows the ghost towns and the wastelands, as well as the growing opposition by environmentalists, as well as the industrialization of agriculture that gave rise to phosphate-based fertilizers.
I have been busy research and writing a history in time for the Count's Centennial on April 23,2021. The book begins with the early settlers on the Charlotte Harbor after the Civil War and ends in the present day. Many of the county's most prominent founders are revisited with many surprising reveals.
Florida's Gray Gold, as a history is more relevant today than in years past. Over the past 122 years, one third of the state of Florida has been strip mined. Bone Valley has witnessed major accidents negatively impacting are creeks, aquifer and rivers. Reclamation has not restored each area's ecology. Many call attention to the pressing environmental catastrophy as mining companies expand to capture the last remaining viable deposits in Bone Valley's southern extremities.